#1
Is there any tips that you can give on how to make a good riff and how to make the rest of the song good as well. I find that I get blocks when I'm writing music because there would be one good riff and the rest is just meh.


Tips anyone?
#2
Well, use things like scalar transposition (change it to another key in the scale), Repeat the riff with slight variation, throw melody in with the chords, make sure your chord changes are in key (unless you want a dissonant sound), make use of all the chords the scale can give you, go beyond said chords, utilize arpeggios, harmonics, contrary motion, counterpoint, palm muting, slides, bends.....

The list is eternal, but what is a good riff to me, may not be a good riff to you. Like how physical beauty is in the eye of the beholder; musical beauty is in the ear of the beholder.

P.S. Basically, the more theory you know, more weapons of mass musical awesomeness will become available. This is because music theory is really just the "mechanics" of music and how it works. The more you know, the more options you have. This is just my opinion, however.

Anyway, don't stop rockin'!
Last edited by Haunt3dAng3l at Nov 27, 2008,
#3
The key to good songwriting is balancing expectations with surprise.

It's about contrast. Like Bohemian Rhapsody or Stairway to Heaven it all melts together into one song but there are clear and distinctive "parts" that provide contrast with each other. The opening of stairway with it's fingerpicked ballad almost counter point beauty and the recorders and the relaxed vocals which builds to a wall of guitars blaring a cliche i bVII bVI progression with crashing drums and loud aggressive vocal styles, then returns to the subdued part again to finish.

Then you've got something like Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds which has the complex arrangements and pyschadelic harmonies and throbbing 6/8 beat in the verses which contrasts strongly with it's straight out cliche I IV V sing along chorus in common time.

Well that's what it takes in my opninion to make a great song.

Riffs usually come pretty easy for me I don't really know how to explain it. I hear them and play them and if I get stuck I sing the note I'm looking for and match it up.
Si